Plan of Attack for a High-Needs Boy and an Overwhelmed Mom. Part 2.

11 Jan

If you missed yesterday’s post, you need to go read it.  Right now.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Okay.  Get the big idea?

Today: God.

I hope your view of God is informed by more than Monty Python.

I’ll be honest.  Before I had Seabass in May, my relationship with The Big Guy was going through a bit of a dry spell.  Dunno why, exactly.  Perhaps because life was so good I didn’t see a need to depend on anyone or anything else to get me through my embarrassingly miniscule difficulties.  I’d just started working from home, writing articles for glossy magazines from the comfort of my couch – sometimes even my bed.  When the work was finished, I’d take a walk or do yoga, receiving many an ooh and aah from kind onlookers at the site of my bulging belly.  People opened doors for me.  They let me cut in line at the post office.  I read and drank tea and took naps and prepared decadent meals for Jake to come home to.  It was heaven on earth, and I knew it wasn’t going to last.

Then Seabass took the stage, and I started praying.  BIG TIME.

Have you ever been rocked so hard by something that you almost can’t pray, though?  Sure, for the first month and a half, I was in God’s face a lot.  Please, dear God, help me to be strong.  Help this precious baby to latch on properly.  Give me the strength I need to get through this day on zero sleep.  Grant me patience to get this blasted onesie over his head, onto his arms, and snapped at the crotch without calling the suicide hotline.  Amen.  There was a sense of temporariness, of transition.  God couldn’t possibly expect me to continue in this manner every minute of every day…could he?

But at around eight weeks post-partum, I realized that God could expect that.  And he did; Seabass remained as obstinate and impossible as ever.  With no end in sight.  And that’s when I quit praying. 

I told you I’d be honest!

The irony, of course, is that I want more than anything for Seabass to grow up knowing that God loves him and is deeply familiar with every cell of his being.  Like so many parents throughout the history of the world, I want for my child what I’ve been seeking for myself all these years: a rock-solid intimacy with the creator of the universe.  I can’t give Seabass that gift – only God can – and I certainly can’t model it for him unless it’s real because – let’s face it – kids are brilliant at identifying phoneys. 

So I’ve decided to start praying again, looking for the kingdom of God in every diaper change, dirty dish and deadline.  (Footnote: Brother Lawrence.)  Practically speaking, that means:

  1. I pray in the morning with the covers over my head, whether or not I feel like I have anything to say.  My inspiration comes from Susannah Wesley, mother of Christian theologian John Wesley (1703-1791), who reportedly covered her head with a dish towel at the kitchen table when she needed to pray, so small was the house she shared with a husband and seven children.  Those kids learned early on to leave mommy alone when she had the towel over her head.  And look: Her devotion gave rise to one of the greatest theologians and abolitionists of all time.
  2. I surround myself with people who have the sort of faith I want.  So I joined a Bible study with some other new moms.  We bring our babies and talk, read and pray, trading off kid-watching duties.  We’ve only met once and I already love it. 

Ultimately, Seabass’ faith will be entirely his own.  But if I can lean on a power greater than myself, accepting what is while also courageously venturing into what could be, he’ll at least see faith modeled, and I will be more at peace with life on life’s terms.  Win-win.

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7 Responses to “Plan of Attack for a High-Needs Boy and an Overwhelmed Mom. Part 2.”

  1. Oma January 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    I have found that the further I am from God, the less I want to pray or even go to church. So, good for you that you are forcing yourself to spend time with God – which is what ALL of us have to do from time to time. The great thing is, the more you pray and lean in, the more you want to! It’s a win-win.
    Love you,
    Oma

  2. emilyrhsmith January 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    I’m a mom of 9-month-old twin boys and joined a moms group at church a few months ago. I get re-energized each time we meet. Right now we’re reading “Power of a Positive Mom” by Karol Ladd, and it has a chapter devoted to the power of prayer. It’s worth a look (you know, whenever you have more than 5 seconds to yourself).

  3. AKeo January 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    I needed this. Thanks

  4. Auntie K January 11, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    I love the towel story! And the photo. I remember once, talking to a friend who was going through a difficult time. She was talking about how very very hard she was praying. I asked her, if in her prayer time, she was allowing for some listening (since she was so very much hoping for some real answers)- apparently it was big light bulb moment for her because she hadn’t. When you wrote about praying whether or not you had anything to say, it reminded me of that.

  5. Debbie January 13, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    Sometimes, all I can say to God is “Help.” He knows the rest. “Be still and know that I am God.” also helps when I am anxious or trying to figure it all out for myself – or trying to get everyone to see things my way.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Plan of Attack for a High-Needs Boy and an Overwhelmed Mom. Part 3. « Higher Highs, Lower Lows - January 12, 2011

    […] again, I have to ask that you be sure to read Parts 1 and 2 in this series before proceeding.  No seriously, it’s that […]

  2. Plan of Attack for a High-Needs Boy and an Overwhelmed Mom. Part 4. « Higher Highs, Lower Lows - January 13, 2011

    […] Jaime is taking charge of her life.  What’s that you say?  You haven’t read parts 1, 2, or 3?  For shame!  Please take a moment to come up to speed.  Take your time.  I’ll just […]

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